If you’ve made the decision to start a blog, there are a lot of things you’ll need to consider. Aside from the obvious aspects for choosing a niche, domain name, suitable web hosting and blogging platform you’ll also need to consider how to market it. Having a blog is all well and good if all you’re looking for is a place to document your thoughts, findings or have the occasional rant – but, if you care about growing your readership either for personal gratification or for monetary gain, you’ll need to put your marketing hat on.
In terms of blog marketing, there is really no better option on the table than finding like minded bloggers with an existing readership who can assist you in getting the word out there about your blog by way of advertising / guest posts / features and such. Typically if someone is interested in a certain blog in a certain sector or niche, they’ll be interested in other blogs on that same subject. So finding like minded bloggers in order to assist with the promotion of your blog is a great place to start.
In this article we’ll going to run through some of the ways you can go about finding bloggers within your niche. It is by no means a complete list and each blog owner will no doubt have their own weird and wonderful methods of finding sources. But with that said the list below is a good starting point.
This might sound obvious, but a quick Google Search can yield a significant amount of sources to assist with the marketing of your blog. For example, if you’re blogging about “Lifestyle” related subjects – quick searches for the likes of health blog, dieting blog, fitness blog etc will yield lots of results.
The only issue with Google is that the search results are heavily weighted in favour of premium sites – so finding sources who are willing to feature a post from a new, relatively unknown blog such as yours is going to be a challenge.
If you are finding you’re hitting a brick wall via the search results returned by Google, you should perhaps consider using other, lesser known search engines such as DuckDuckGo or even Bing.
Bloggers do like to link out to other bloggers be it via links included in blog posts, via authorship/guest post credits or even via comments. Finding out who links to a blog belonging to a competitor can be a great way to find resources to assist in promoting your own blog.
In order to find such resources, you’re going to need to use external (often paid) tools. The best tool on the market at the time of writing is undoubtedly SEMRush. Such applications make it quick and easy for you to input a competitor domain and produce a list of all other sites linking them. You can then separate the wheat from the chaff and produce an excellent list of relevant blogs to start contacting.
You can also use the likes of SEMRush to monitor your competitors traffic and perhaps yield previously unthought of keywords and phrases to target with your own marketing efforts.
Directories tend to be frowned upon these days as they’re typically low value and don’t really help much with regards to your own marketing plans be it via way of SEO or yielding direct click throughs. However, lots of blog owners do still submit to directories as a way to get the ball rolling for their marketing campaign so if you know where to look they can still be a great resource when it comes to finding like minded bloggers.
Each niche tends to have its own resource sites that list third party blogs be it in a directory form or top list. Take Rockstar Finance for example, they feature a quick and easy go to list of all of the top finance blogs out there which would make a great starting point if you’re looking to kick off a finance related blog. This is of course one of many and if used properly you can quickly save yourself a lot of time on the outreach front.
If you have a blog, you should also have associated social media accounts. Most bloggers tend to open accounts for their sites across the board. Be it Twitter, Instagram or Facebook – it’s a complete necessity if you want to maximise your audience reach and form partnerships.
In terms of our marketing efforts, bloggers want to follow other bloggers in their niche and in turn have people following them. Seeing which accounts (and associated sites) follow the social media accounts of one of your competitors can be a great way to yield potential outreach sources.
You will need to put in a fair bit of time and effort separating the personal/readership followers from the other bloggers but it is truly worth the time and effort as you’ll come across gems that you won’t traditionally find via directories or simple Google searches.
Last but not least we come to paid services. Obviously blogger outreach is a huge industry. At the last count there are over 200 million blogs out there with that figure increasing massively day to day. Given that most of them blogs do want to grow their readership it’s inevitable that there are a bunch of paid services out there facilitating such.
A quick Google search of “blogger outreach” for example will yield all sorts of weird and wonderful services such as Ninja Outreach or Triberr which to some extent can assist in your marketing efforts. But, with that said, I believe there is no better substitute than good old fashioned leg work.
Hopefully this list is enough to get you started. As mentioned above, it is by no means complete and once you’ve exhausted all of the methods above you’ll no doubt need to find your own creative ways of finding bloggers in your niche. But, if you’re looking for a quick, relatively easy and ultimately cheap way of promoting your blog then it’s definitely worth putting the time in and getting the word out there. There is really no substitute for good, old-fashioned leg work.